By Jim King – President & COO, Okuma America Corporation (August 19, 2015) When you make a decision to purchase a machine tool, one that sometimes can exceed the cost of an average home in the U.S., there are many factors that must be considered. For most shops, service and support is right up there at the top of the list. Manufacturing is hard enough without the worry of how your machines will perform and who will be there when you have an unexpected maintenance event (crash, bump). Most customers are searching for a distributor or machine tool company that has a reputation for service excellence.
35 Years of Partnership
Every manufacturer makes a strategic decision about the best way to deliver products and services to the market. For us the question is, what’s best for the customer? Long ago, Okuma America made the decision to partner with independent distributors to sell and support our products. Our customers benefit from over 35 years of partnership with the best machine tool distributors in the industry.
Why We Believe in Distribution
With the customers’ needs in mind, there are many reasons we’ve consistently maintained our commitment to distribution:
- Local Resource: The last thing you want to hear when you have a down machine is “we’ll get back to you”, followed by a discussion about who will get on a plane, and when. No. What you’d rather hear is that someone’s jumping in their car and heading out to help you. We can do that, because we’ve invested in establishing the largest network of independent distributors in the Americas. We have people in the marketplace that live, play and go to church with our customers. Their kids are in the same sports leagues as your kids, and they’re part of your community. They take pride in serving their local businesses, and they pull out all the stops to help you be successful.
- Multiplied Coverage: Distribution allows us to at least double the amount of coverage in any given market. Our network totals over 1,000 sales, service, application engineering and back office personnel, and the first line of service is your local distributor’s people. They are backed up by our service staff here in Charlotte and our deep bench of engineers who travel all over the country. When you combine these resources with the global staff of Okuma, we provide our customers with a very unique customer experience.
- A Face You Recognize: With an entrenched distributor network, you don’t have to suffer through a revolving door of representatives that you need to train over and over again so they understand your business. You don’t have to wonder how good they are, or if they’re reliable. Because an Okuma distributor has worked with you for years, and has proven their worth.
- Scalability: Our distributors are entrepreneurial companies, who are not shackled by the constraints typical of huge corporations. They’re able to expand their ranks as needed, and can hire and scale quickly. This means you’re working with a company that has their finger on the pulse of the industry and will rapidly ensure you have the resources you need.
- Range: In addition to representing Okuma products, including lathes, machining centers, double columns and grinders, our distributors represent other complementary lines and products that further expand their ability to provide you with a competitive solution. Okuma in turn also works with many of those partner companies to develop cutting edge technology for your benefit.
For decades, we have not wavered. Our commitment to distribution has always remained intact. Our solid partnership with Okuma distributors starts with a shared commitment to providing superior value to customers and acting as one in the market. This distributor network offers exceptional knowledge and service that helps you choose the best solution, implement and support your machine tool investment. We believe in distribution. It’s a core value for our company, a centerpiece of our culture, and vital to Okuma’s success in the Americas. Distribution is also a key to your success, no matter where your business calls home.